Cold... So cold... Why am I so cold?
Jarod opened his eyes. It was still dark. He was to afraid to look at the clock but he had to. He turned his head slowly. His body dead still where it lay under a thin sheet on his single bed. He stared at the soft red glow of his digital clock.
"Dammit!" He jumped out of bed throwing his sheet carelessly on the floor and darted to the window. He pulled back the curtain of the only window in his one bedroom apartment on the fifth floor, which overlooked Westcreek Park, and looked down onto the same bench he had looked at the previous morning at this time, and every other morning - since that day. A figure dressed in black waved at him as he always did and placed an envelope in the dustbin beside the bench then walked away.
Jarod hurried down the five flights of steps and out of the building doors. He stood next to the bench in his boxers. Stretching his arm out into the dustbin he removed the envelope.
"Be white. Please be white." Jarod pleaded to himself.
"Red... No!" He hurried up the stairs back into his apartment locking the door behind him. Tossing the red envelope onto his bed Jarod opened his wardrobe. Black jeans. Black shirt. Black hoody. Black running shoes. He stood still at the foot of his bed staring at the red envelope. Not wanting to open it but having to. He snatched it up and tore it open revealing a photograph.
"Black pin-striped suite. Black hat with a white rim. Silver skull cufflinks." Jarod's heart beat heavy in his chest.
"The Skull Pin gang!" He turned the photograph over.
Dunning, Dock17, Pinnacle, Duncan Deyer
A cold chill ran through Jarod's body as he read.
"Already?" Jarod shoved the photograph into the front pocket of his hoody. He flipped his bed up against the wall exposing the wooden floor. On his knees he pulled at the loose planks removing them one by one. Grabbing the backpack that lay beneath the floor Jarod swung it over his arm and and onto his back and dropped the bed back down covering the hole in the floor.
"Dunning harbor. I haven't been there in a while."
Jarod closed the door to his apartment. He stood a moment staring at the number 33 on his door.
"How did I get here?" His thought was accompanied by a familiar rising sensation that always started at his feet.
He locked the door and hurried down stairs to the basement where he found his motorcycle parked and ready.
Jarod kicked his bike stand down and hid his motorcycle in the shadows between two old shipping containers. Dunning harbor was unusually quiet. Jarod knew that it was no coincidence. The man who provided him with the envelope chose tonight for a reason. Jarod walked slowly down the docks aware of the cold that had now risen up to his knees.
"At this rate the cold will have me before I can make it home... Dammit!" Jarod picked up his pace. As he passed dock 16 Jarod stopped. Positioning himself in the darkness where the dim lampposts' light failed to reach he squinted his eyes as he searched the names in the boats floating at dock 17.
"Pinnacle." The name was clear as day even in the dark of night. Jarod moved closer. Slowly. Finally he was beside the boat. The cold was now closing in on his waste. Jarod shivered as he snuck a peek through one of the small windows of the boat.
"Nothing..." He moved on to the next window. This time he heard voices before he dared look through the window. Deep heavy voices arguing about something. Jarod moved closer.
"What do you mean it's not here!?" The first man spoke in anger. His voice strong and full of authority.
"Sorry Mr. Deyer sir. I just received a call five minutes before you arrived. Manual said the shipment has been intercepted." The second voice was trembling with fear. Jarod almost felt sorry for the man.
"My crew is already with Manual sir. They will have answers for you soon."
"A third man! This is not good... what to do. What to do?" Jarod slid down to the floor. Sitting on the cold concrete of dock 17 just outside from the man he had to kill Jarod buried his head in his hands. "Maybe I should wait for the cold to take me? It's already chest high. At least then I won't have to deal with the memory of killing someone - even if he is a drug lord."
Jarod jumped to his feet as he swung the back pack of from his back and stood hard up against the boat. Gun in hand.
"What just happened? Dammit! Focus Jarod." Jarod slowly moved his head towards the window.
Jarod froze. He had not noticed the door right behind him. It was now open and two men walked out the boat. Luckily the door swung in Jarod's direction blocking him from the two men's sight. Even more fortunate was the sound of footsteps walking away from him - door still open. Jarod dared not swallow in fear of making a noise when in actuality all he really wanted to do was throw-up.
"Where you born in a barn man!?" Jarod recognized the first voice he had heard. The voice of the man he had to kill. The drug lord, Duncan Deyer. "Go close the door!"
"Close the door? Did he just say close the door...!?" Jarod forced his body to move as he spun around to see the door swing shut.
"Well well. What have we..."
Jarod could no longer feel his fingers. The cold had come quicker than normal. It was now moving up his neck as he watched the man he had just shot collapse to the floor in front of him. He focused his eyes on Duncan Deyer who was now making his way down the docks. Running.
"Dammit! Dammit!!" Jarod's body was now moving on its own. The cold had taken away not only all physical feeling but his own will was also no longer his own. As the cold moved over his nose he looked on as he closed the gap between himself and the drug lord. Jarod watched his arm lift in mid flight. Taking aim.
"At least this time there will be no collateral damage..." That thought brought welcomed warmth to a body that was now completely stone cold.